And the question may well seem reverent when we think how men talk of the Absolute and Eternal as if he were altogether such a one as themselves, as if he were the man in the next room. Let us celebrate that higher ignorance, that docta ignorantia, as the mystics speak, which is the last word alike of physics, of philosophy, of religion: "Deveni in altitudinem maris et silui."—Fortnightly Review.
|SCIENCE AND MORALS: A REPLY.|
IN spite of long and, perhaps, not unjustifiable hesitation, I begin to think that there must be something in telepathy. For evidence, which I may not disregard, is furnished by the last number of the "Fortnightly Review," that, among the hitherto undiscovered endowments of the human species, there may be a power even more wonderful than the mystic faculty by which the esoterically Buddhistic sage "upon the farthest mountain in Cathay" reads the inmost thoughts of a dweller within the homely circuit of the London postal district. Great, indeed, is the insight of such a seer; but how much greater is his who combines the feat of reading, not merely the thoughts of which the thinker is aware, but those of which he knows nothing; who sees him unconsciously drawing the conclusions which he repudiates, and supporting the doctrines which he detests! To reflect upon the confusion which the working of such a power as this may introduce into one's ideas of personality and responsibility is perilous—madness lies that way. But truth is truth, and I am almost fain to believe in this magical visibility of the non-existent when the only alternative is the supposition that the writer of the article on "Materialism and Morality" in the current number of the "Fortnightly Review," in spite of his manifest ability and honesty, has pledged himself, so far as I am concerned, to what, if I may trust my own knowledge of my own thoughts, must be called a multitude of errors of the first magnitude.
I so much admire Mr. Lilly's outspokenness, I am so completely satisfied of the uprightness of his intentions, that it is repugnant to me to quarrel with anything he may say; and I sympathize so warmly with his manly scorn of the vileness of much that passes under the name of literature in these times, that I would willingly be silent under his by no means unkindly exposition of his theory of my own tenets, if I thought that such personal abnegation would serve the interest of the cause we both have at heart. But I can not think so. My creed may be an ill-favored thing, but it is mine own, as Touch-stone says of his lady-love, and I have so high an opinion of the solid virtues of the object of my affections that I can not calmly see her